Government COVID-19 recovery strategy – Shielding
As part of a comprehensive strategy on how to rebuild our society and economy in the wake of Covid-19, the Government is naturally taking the shielding of the most vulnerable members of our society very seriously. In their guidance they have stated the following in this regard;
The Government is taking a cautious approach, but some inherent risk to the most vulnerable remains. Around 2.5 million people across the UK have been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable and advised to shield.
These are people who are most at risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. This means that they have been advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact, until the end of June. The Government and local authorities have offered additional support to people who are shielding, including delivery of food and basic supplies, care, and support to access medicines, if they are unable to get help with this from family and friends. Over one million food boxes have been delivered in England since the programme started.
NHS Volunteer Responders and local volunteers are also helping to support this group. The guidance on shielding and vulnerability will be kept under review as the UK moves through the phases of the Government’s strategy. It is likely that the Government will continue to advise people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to shield beyond June. Whilst shielding is important to protect individuals from the risk of COVID-19 infection, the Government recognises that it is challenging for people’s wider wellbeing.
The Government will review carefully the effect on shielded individuals, the services they have had, and what next steps are appropriate. For those who need to shield for a longer period, the Government will review the scale and scope of their needs and how the support programme can best meet these. The Government will also consider guidance for others who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 and how it can support people to understand their risk.
To read the full guidance and strategy please click here;
Ann-Marie Matthews is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, Ipswich Solicitors.